Thank God the pressure is finally off and I can return to normal life. I’ve lost the lottery again.
We probably could have predicted this, and not simply because my odds of winning were roughly one in 250 bazillion. I live in Chicago and winners never buy their tickets in a big city. It’s always someplace like Escape, Arkansas or Ignore, Idaho, never Manhattan or Los Angeles or Boston or Miami. Or Chicago.
But a potential jackpot of $1.6 billion (slightly more than I earn in a week) beckoned and the guy behind the counter at the Qwik-E-Mart promised to sell me the winning ticket, so I took a shot. Almost immediately, my life fell apart. My days were consumed with research about tax rates and the relative benefits of Swiss banks versus gigantic cookie jars. At night, I’d mourn the death of my favorite excuse—“We can’t afford it,”—and dread the IOUs I’d written against that phrase.
My future looked even worse. After I won, which lawyer would I call to set up the LLC? I know a ton of lawyers, mostly a bunch of average Joes who couldn’t get a job after college, so they went to a graduate school that lets them call themselves esquires. I was guaranteed to sadden at least 40 of them and at least as many accountants, who are already sad because they don’t get to call themselves something cool like ESQUIRE. Of course, I could send each of them a million bucks to ease the pain, but it’s the principle of the thing.
Then I had to wrestle with the challenge of sharing with my family and friends, plus guys I met on the bus who would be expecting the new car I promised if/when I won the jackpot. I don’t remember who most of those people are, but I’ll bet they’d remember me after learning I was the big winner.
And whatever amount I give them wouldn’t be enough, cuz they’re all greedy, moneygrubbing, spoiled, avaricious parasites who will never be satisfied until they bleed me dry. Oh, did I say that out loud? Oops.
Everything in my life would change with that kind of money. I’d need to dump all my loser friends and find a much better class of people to alienate. I’d still be short and asthmatic, and my personality would be, um, an acquired taste, but an increasingly large number of people would somehow find a way to overlook those chasms. Money might not buy happiness, but it buys tons of toleration.
Hamburgers with fries would become a thing of the past as I switched to steak tartare with pomme frites. Of course, I wouldn’t have to buy any of my meals, because lawyers, accountants, stock brokers, real estate agents…pretty much everyone would be anxious to show me a good time.
With all those free meals, I’d regain all the weight I’ve lost from working with my trainer for the past couple of years, but that’s not a problem for the grotesquely wealthy. I’d just hire some guy with 6% body fat to do my workouts for me. Finally, with enough money, I would learn how to delegate.
I’d need to learn new skills, like complaining about the taxes I owe on money I didn’t earn, and keeping a straight face when I tell people I really miss the simpler time when I had to make do without a Lamborghini. (Sorry, two Lamborghinis, because one is always in the shop.)
And we’d need to move, of course, because the condo board would get so many complaints about the paparazzi they’d insist we vacate the building. I was thinking of settling down in some rural spot in South Carolina, but it looks like that’s where the winning ticket was sold. After getting such a big break by avoiding the jackpot this week, I’d hate to press my luck where people actually win this thing.